• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Christmas Eve – Tradition

"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." Luke 2:6-8

The first Christmas Eve passed with no remarkable notice. Certainly Mary and Joseph were aware of the time and the eminence of the Lord Jesus's birth but the world was oblivious to what was about to happen, until some shepherds tending their sheep out in the countryside saw the brightness of the Glory of God in the heavens and heard the angel declaring the birth of the Savior.

Fast forward to today. Believer's around the world have adopted the tradition of celebrating the Birth of Jesus with Christmas Eve services and vigils expressing with great anticipation and joy what only a small group of faithful Jews and Wise Men from the East looked for earnestly and desired to see in that day.

As the world of Christians and some unbelievers turn their attention to celebrations of the Holy Night on which Jesus was born we do so with a singular hope that the message of Peace on Earth Goodwill to men would become not just a hope, but a realized fact in our time.

We pray that the righteousness of God that Jesus came to be and to declare would prevail in the hearts of every mankind everywhere. We pray that wars would cease and evil men would turn from wickedness and seek the love of God. We pray that sickness and disease would be eradicated from the face of the earth; that pain and suffering and death would be removed from us forever. We pray for Joy to be restored, for families to be reunited in love and peace. We pray for the Gospel of life and that more abundantly would be preached, heard and believed throughout the world that the will of God would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On this Christmas Eve I hope you will take a moment to pause and simply lift up a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God for the incomprehensible Gift of our Lord Jesus Christ as we celebrate His 2015 birthday as a man and His endless eternal life as the Son of the Living God. To God be the Glory now and forever. Amen


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